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Endometrial Cancer

Sorosky, Joel I., MD

doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3182605bf1
Clinical Expert Series
Expert Discussion
Spanish Translation

The epidemiology, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and new International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics staging system of endometrial carcinoma are reviewed. Endometrial cancer has increased 21% in incidence since 2008, and the death rate has increased more than 100% over the past two decades. Precursor lesions of complex hyperplasia with atypia are associated with an endometrial carcinoma in more than 40% of cases. Endometrial cancer in white women occurs at twice the incidence as in black women, but, stage for stage, black women have a less favorable prognosis. Preoperative imaging cannot accurately assess lymph node involvement. Gross examination of depth of myometrial invasion does not have the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, or negative predictive value to select women who can have lymphadenectomy safely omitted from the surgical procedure. Although surgical staging remains the most accurate method of determining the extent of disease, the therapeutic value of pelvic lymphadenectomy has not been established. The anatomical extent of lymphadenectomy and the number of lymph nodes removed to establish prognostic and therapeutic benefit are controversial. Research efforts are directed at identifying women with early stage endometrial cancer who only require total hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. Minimally invasive surgical techniques have become established as standard therapy for treating women with endometrial cancer. Women with a family history of hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer are at increased risk for endometrial cancer. Conservative treatment to allow for childbearing is possible in select situations. Women with endometrial cancer should be managed by physicians experienced in the complex multimodality treatment of this disease.

The diagnosis and management of endometrial cancer are reviewed.

From the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hartford Hospital and the Hospital of Central Connecticut, The University of Connecticut, Hartford, Connecticut.

Continuing medical education for this article is available at

Corresponding author: Joel I. Sorosky, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hartford Hospital and the Hospital of Central Connecticut, The University of Connecticut, 80 Seymour Street, Hartford, CT 062102; e-mail:

Financial Disclosure The author did not report any potential conflicts of interest.

© 2012 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.